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Long post but I honestly believe this is **EXTREMELY IMPORTANT** - especially for young women or those who read this and could share it with the young women in their life.
I read an article a few months back (I unfortunately wasn't able to find it to attach to this post) about a human trafficking attempt in a grocery store. I honestly didn't think about it again until this evening.
I was at my local Target in Shoreview, in the very back next to the milk, and a young woman approached me. She was early twenties, cute, blonde, and dressed nicely. She walked up to me and started a conversation, saying I look like someone she's seen at the gym before. She was very friendly and as we were talking she ended up asking me where I work and where I went to school. I thought that was strange, and ended the conversation and began walking away. I noticed that she wasn't shopping at all. As I began walking back up to the front of the store, I looked down the aisles and noticed this girl was following me from afar. She kept accidentally make eye contact and smiling. I then noticed that she was making a phone call.
All of this was exactly what happened in the article I read. A woman was shopping, was approached by another overly friendly woman who asked odd personal questions, then followed her around the store. She too noticed the other woman make a phone call. The woman asked an employee to walk her to her car, and it turned out there was a car outside waiting to do God knows what to her when she left the store.
Anyways I went to the check out area and approached a male employee. I explained to him that I was being followed, was in fear for my safety, and needed to be walked to my car. While I was talking to the employee, he asked if I could see the girl from where we were standing. I looked around and could see her standing towards the front of the store, keeping an eye on where I was. The employee confirmed that he could see the girl I was referring to. I believe she left when she saw that looked worried and was talking to the employee. A manager came over and let me know that Target's policy for the situation is for the guest to call for a police escort. I checked out and called 911. An officer came and I explained the situation to them, and they walked me out to my car, and made sure I left the parking lot safely. poofy wedding dresses
I do not have a doubt in my mind that if I hadn't read the article/followed my instincts that I would be in the back of someone's car at this moment. I thank God that I am home and safe.
I am also extremely thankful for the Target employees and police officer who all took the situation extremely seriously.
There are some very bad people in this world. I would have never thought anything like this would happen to me, especially not in my hometown. I had become complacent. This is a huge wake up call, and I hope that by sharing this it will instill a healthy sense of situational awareness in others.
Thank you for reading.